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Daniel Nations

Does the New iPad Have Wi-Fi Problems?

By March 21, 2012

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With every new iPad or iPhone, there seem to be a myriad of "problems" that surface on forums, get some attention in the media, and then die down once it becomes apparent these issues are isolated events rather than evidence of a real hardware issue. The iPhone 4's "antennagate" was one of the few issues that persisted past the initial release, and the new iPad is already receiving some of the same treatment.

In addition to issues concerning how hot the back of the new iPad gets when doing intensive tasks like playing Infinity Blade 2, some users are reporting problems with the Wi-Fi signal on the official Apple support forum.

Luckily, my house is the perfect testing ground for this type of problem because I have areas of strong Wi-Fi signal, moderate signal, low signal and a spot where my iPad 2 never could get connected. Using my new iPad, my iPad 2 and Speedtest.net's mobile speed test, I systematically tested both iPads in various spots in the house.

Unsurprisingly, they both did about the same in areas of strong and moderate signal strength. When I moved to the area of the house where I consistently get poor signal strength from my Wi-Fi router, the new iPad actually outperformed the iPad 2 in test after test, downloading from 25% to 100% faster than the iPad 2.

But here's what surprised me: The new iPad was able to pick up a signal in my 'dead' area whereas the iPad 2 could not get connected. It wasn't a great signal -- only 1.5 to 2.5 Mbps in the download test -- but easily enough to browse the web. And an infinite amount better than the iPad 2.

This isn't to say that the new iPad doesn't have an issue with Wi-Fi strength. Just as those users posting on the Apple forums represent anecdotal evidence of a problem, so does my test of the new iPad's signal strength.

Also, it is important to note that the original iPad had some problems connecting to some Wi-Fi routers, and these problems were cured in a subsequent patch to the operating system.

How to Fix: My iPad Won't Connect to WiFi

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